24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

16/08/2011  |  ABC

MONEY MAYHEM America seems to be getting bad grades... not in the classroom, but in its economy. The country was rated at Triple A, now it's only double A plus. It still sounds pretty good, but the change could have a bad impact on the global economy. FLOOD RECOVERY When was the last time you had a banana? Lots of kids aren't packing them in their lunch boxes anymore, because they've become really expensive lately. It's all to do with the Queensland floods which wiped out banana crops earlier this year. BtN takes a look at how the flood recovery program is going, and tries to find out when bananas might return to old prices. YOUTH SLEEP OUT On any given night in Australia 105,000 people are homeless and nearly half of these people are under the age of 25. BtN meets a group of school kids who are spending a night sleeping rough, as they try to raise awareness about the issue of youth homelessness. DENTAL DECAY How often do you brush your teeth? Well, it should be twice a day. But the latest research says lots of kids are only doing it once a day. So it's no surprise that tooth decay is on the rise among Aussie kids. COMPETITIVE AEROBICS Aerobics is an activity you may have taken part in during P-E class. But did you know it can also be a competitive sport? Alfie gets a lesson from an aerobics team and discovers it's not just for girls.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

2/08/2011  |  ABC

AFRICA AID Over the past few decades Australia has experienced its fair share of droughts. For us, a drought can mean crops and animals suffering. But over in East Africa the situation is threatening millions of lives. It's potentially far more deadly than anything else happening on earth... yet we don't hear much about it. PRICE OF FAME When many kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up... the answer is often, "famous". Whether it's through music, TV or sport, it doesn't matter. It's often simply the recognition that people desire. But we often read about celebrities struggling to cope under the pressures of fame. So is fame all it's cracked up to be? TEEN SLEEP If you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, then there could be a good reason why. It might not be that you're just lazy. It might not be that you've stayed up too late watching TV. It could actually be down to some biological changes that happen in teenagers. Nathan explains. COMICS Comic books have been bringing joy to kids for decades. And they're a great way for kids to learn to read. But these days, with easy access to TV and the Internet, are comics still popular? SRI LANKAN FOOTY We're always hearing that football players are a bit like movie stars these days. Well, it's not as ridiculous as it sounds... because a few of them are about to make their debut on the big screen. A new doco follows some AFL players as they travel to Sri Lanka to sell the Aussie Rules message to a nation that's more used to catching cricket balls.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

26/07/2011  |  ABC

PHONE HACKING For years journalists have snooped around trying to sniff out good stories to put in the news. But now the snooping techniques of a small group of journalists in the UK have made people very angry. It's led to a massive police investigation and has forced the closure of Britain's biggest selling newspaper. CARBON TAX The proposed carbon tax has turned into the biggest political issue facing Prime Minister Julia Gillard. We go beyond the jargon to try to explain what a carbon tax actually means. And we find out why it's splitting opinions. SPACE MISSIONS When you think of NASA, you think of astronauts and space missions. But that might be about to change. NASA has brought home its last space shuttle and announced that no more will be going up. So what does this all mean for space exploration? POLICE HORSES Police work can be a dangerous job, but it's not only humans who put themselves on the front line. We look at the role of police horses and find out why they're still considered to be such an effective part of policing. And what does it take to train a horse to be ready for a role with the police? FENCING The sport of fencing has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest sports at the Olympics. So why is it that not many people take it up? Tash takes a look at how the sport is played and meets some bright young Aussies who are making their mark.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

14/06/2011  |  ABC

E. COLI Thousands of people have been made sick and 22 have died after an outbreak of E. Coli. It started in Germany and has spread through Europe and has even reached the U.S. Now Australian doctors have been warned to look out for the symptoms here. So, what is E. Coli and how does it start? CLOUD COMPUTING These days we have so many devices in our lives. Computers, laptops, phones, mp3 players, tablet computers, digital cameras and more. This week Apple has announced the next technology breakthrough will be in "cloud computing". So, what is it, and how will it affect you? ABSTRACT ART A 4 year old Australian girl has just sold one of her paintings for $24,000. Some art lovers have praised her natural talents. But just as many are saying that a child throwing paint at a canvas isn't really art at all. So, what is art? And in the world of abstract art, how can you tell the difference between a masterpiece and a mess? GOOD MANNERS In the past, a lot of importance was placed on having good manners. There were even special schools devoted to learning what was polite and proper. So what about today? Are we letting our manners slip? Or have we developed a different idea about what it means to be polite? TASSIE DEVILS A few years ago BtN reported on the problems facing Tasmanian Devils. They were in danger of being wiped out by an unusual disease. Since then a team of zoo keepers has been working hard to save these iconic Australian animals.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

7/06/2011  |  ABC

CARBON AD There's been a lot of controversy this week over a new TV ad. It's not selling a product... instead it's selling an idea. The ad uses celebrities to try to convince people that a carbon tax is a good thing. But why go to the expense of trying to gain people's support... when the government's already made up its mind? LIVE EXPORTS There's been a lot of talk lately about whether Australia should be exporting livestock like sheep and cattle overseas. Some shocking vision has come out showing animals being treated badly. Now, some people want livestock exports banned. RIPPED OFF? Consumer group Choice says Australian shoppers are being ripped off. It says the same item of shopping can often be bought overseas for much less. So how do shops justify charging higher prices in Australia, and what can we do about it? TV CAMERA TV cameras used to be large, heavy... and difficult to move around. But now, thanks to new technology, they're a lot easier to use. And it might surprise you to learn they don't even need a person to operate them! Sean's gone behind the scenes to find out how we use cameras to make the news. CONDUCTOR They're one of the key players in an orchestra... but this person doesn't even make a noise. And they don't belong with woodwind, brass, strings OR percussion. We're talking about the conductor. It's an unusual job... and as Tash found out, there's a lot more to conducting than waving around a baton.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

24/05/2011  |  ABC

ASYLUM DEAL BtN looks at the government's new plan to deal with asylum seekers who try to get into Australia by boat. Is the swap deal with Malaysia in the best interests of Australia? And why does the government think that the new plan will stop people smugglers? INFORMATION FOOTPRINT We leave traces of ourselves everywhere... whether it's signals from our phones, information from our bank cards or when we're giving away details on facebook. We look at our information footprint, and what can happen if our details fall into the wrong hands. ORGANIC FOOD Business experts have tipped organic food to be this year's fastest growing industry. But what does organic actually mean? And what has to happen so that a food can be sold with an organic label? MACQUARIE ISLAND Macquarie Island is part of Australia, about half way between New Zealand and Antarctica. It's full of penguins and seals and other great wildlife. But there's a problem. Rabbits and rodents which were brought to the island are now running out of control and destroying the habitat. We look at an extraordinary $25 million plan to rid the island of pests. BODY BOARDER Most kids hop on a body board when they're young... and then move up to surf boards as they become more skilled. But did you know that body boarding is a sport in its own right? We join a professional body boarder as he holds a master class for a group of kids.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

17/05/2011  |  ABC

WEB CHAT We all know that it can be hard to keep a secret, especially if it's a really juicy one. But did you know that some secrets are so important that the law can get involved to make sure no-one blabs. These things called suppression orders can stop the media from revealing a story if a judge thinks it is either not in the public interest, or could affect a court case. But the power of the courts is being challenged... by an online thirst for information. FOOD ALLERGIES A study has found that Aussie kids have the highest rate of food allergies in the world. We look at what it's like living with a serious food allergy. We also learn the difference between having a food allergy and being food intolerant. TV TRICKS MasterChef, Australian Idol, Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars... these are some of Australia's most popular TV shows in recent years. And while they're different shows... about completely different things... in some ways they're actually all the same. James looks at the reality TV template... and the tricks TV producers use to make their programs a hit. ALIEN SEARCH The idea of aliens on other planets isn't just something made up for the movies. There are scientists who take the possibility really seriously. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the US searching for signs of life on other planets. But now a cut to their funding means the search for extraterrestrial life is under threat. BOARD GAMES With lots of new technology and fun gadgets to play with, kids seem to be spending less time playing traditional board games. Some teachers reckon that board games can be really good for developing the brain and for learning about strategies. We visit one school which has decided to teach board games as part of the curriculum.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

5/04/2011  |  ABC

PARTY POLITICS The Federal election was close... and now things are split at the state level too with each party having 3 state Premiers. Are Australian voters really divided? Or could it be that the political parties are often so similar that it's hard to choose between them? We look at what each party was originally created to represent... and we examine why things aren't so clear cut these days. ROYAL FAMILY The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is in a few weeks. A new survey suggests that all the build-up has made the Royal family more popular in the UK. But what about in Australia? Tash looks at the pros and cons of Australia being under a monarchy. GREEN TEA Drinking green tea has for a long time been considered to be good for your health. What started as a huge industry in Asia has moved over to a small part of Australia. It's taken about a decade, but Aussie farmers reckon they could be brewing the best green tea harvest yet. Kirsty looks into how it's grown and what it does for our bodies. EASTER SYMBOLS As it's the last BtN before Easter we thought we'd take a closer look at the way Australians celebrate this holiday. For some people it's an important religious celebration...for others it's about chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny. We explain some of the meanings behind the traditions. HAND BALL You've probably played handball at school before... but did you know that there's a real sport called handball and it's even played at the Olympics. It's a big hit in Europe and it's becoming more popular over here too. We catch up with a group of young handball players and take you through some of the rules.

24:29 | News and current affairs
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Behind The News

29/03/2011  |  ABC

LIBYA STRIKE While the fighting was raging on in Libya between Colonel Gaddafi's supporters and those that want him out... another fight was going on a long way away from there. But this battle was very different. It was between people in a meeting room, and the outcome has changed the whole course of the Libya war. Nathan examines the UN's role in the Libya conflict. CHRISTMAS ISLAND Anyone watching the news over the last few years, would be forgiven for thinking that Christmas Island was nothing more than a great big detention centre. But there's so much more to this Australian Island. A group of school kids from Christmas Island make a video for BtN to show what life is really like for the community that live there. DUCK HUNTING It's that time of year when you wouldn't want to be mistaken for a duck. Duck hunting season is underway in some parts of Australia and it's got a lot of people in a flap. Animal rights groups want the sport to be banned.. but hunters say it's fun and great for the economy. CHOCOLATE UNWRAPPED Easter is just around the corner, and it's a huge day for the chocolate industry. But what else is underneath those glossy wrappers? Well it depends on the type of chocolate, whether it's dark, milk or white. Kirsty unwraps one of our favourite foods to find out exactly how it's made. BALLET BOYS We catch up with a group of boys who love ballet. They want to dispel the myth that ballet is just for girls. We find out that it takes an incredible amount of strength to be a good ballet dancer, with one study even suggesting they're fitter than professional swimmers.

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